Saturday, August 13, 2011

Kid Konnection: Frankie Pickle and the Mathematical Menace

Every Saturday, I host a feature called Kid Konnection -- a regular weekend feature about anything related to children's books. This week, I'm going to share with you the latest book in one of my favorite kids' series -- the Frankie Pickle series by Eric Wight (he also happens to be one of my very favorite writers too!)

Summary: Frankie's facing his greatest challenge yet: his MATH QUIZ. He'd rather live in a world without math, but his quiz has other plans. It transports him to Arithmecca, a world filled with horrible number monsters! Armed with only his pencil, Frankie must learn to divide and conquer if he's going to ace his quiz and defeat THE MATHEMATICAL MENACE. -- Simon & Schuster

Our entire family has anxiously been awaiting Eric Wight's new Frankie Pickle book FRANKIE PICKLE AND THE MATHEMATICAL MENACE. Booking Daughter was lucky enough to get a sneak peek at the book last fall during the 2010 Lititz Kidlit Festival when Eric brought the sketches to the author's dinner. She immediately grabbed them and read the book in its entirety. She was so excited (and felt so special!) that I thought she was going to faint right there.

For those of you not familiar with the Frankie Pickle books, you are certainly missing out. These graphic novels are aimed at kids in Grades 2 through 5, and I'm pretty sure that even reluctant readers will be entertained by Frankie and his antics. All of these books have terrific illustrations, great storylines, and valuable messages. Quite honestly, they are just about perfect (in my opinion!)

In FRANKIE PICKLE AND THE MATHEMATICAL MENACE, Frankie finds that he doesn't exactly have an affinity for math. When Frankie zones out on a math quiz and head to the fantasy world of Arithmecca, he ends up failing the quiz. Fortunately, his teacher gives him another chance, but Frankie has to face his fears and work hard to defeat "The Mathematical Menace!"

Big surprise here, but I loved this book! I just adore Frankie and his amazing imagination and I thought this book really showcased just how creative Frankie is. The illustrations were top-notch and especially cute as they featured Frankie battling characters made from numbers. Booking Son let me read the entire book to him in one sitting and he liked it a lot although he didn't really understand why Frankie didn't like math. (Right now, math comes pretty easy to Booking Son and he can't fathom why it isn't like that for everyone!)

As cute as the story was, I loved the important messages. For example, Frankie learned that math is important and we all use it in our normal, everyday lives. He also learned that he doesn't have to be afraid of something that he's not exactly comfortable with. In addition, Frankie was given a second chance to take the quiz, and he took full advantage of that opportunity. Frankie worked hard and studied over a weekend, and he definitely wanted to do well on his quiz. And finally, Frankie learned that math/school work can be fun!

I also want to give a shout-out to the adults in FRANKIE PICKLE AND THE MATHEMATICAL MENACE. Both Frankie's teacher and his parents handled Frankie and his fears extremely well. Next time my kids are facing a challenge, I just might have to read this book again so I can keep it all in perspective!

In case you don't know it, Eric Wight is just an amazing guy and Booking Son and I are HUGE fans of his! In fact, we have met Eric a number of times and Booking Son is lucky enough to have an "original" Eric Wight in his bedroom. Eric does lots of school visits where he shows kids how to draw his characters. Here's a little peek for the rest of you. Make sure you watch until the end because I absolutely adore how he draws Frankie's sidekick Argyle.

If you'd like to participate in Kid Konnection and share a post about anything related to children's books (picture, middle grade, or young adult) from the past week, please leave a comment as well as a link below with your name/blog name and the title of the book! Feel free to grab the little button too!


Anonymous said...

Oh how cool! This looks like such a neat book nd it's great that you've met Eric. Cool cool cooll!

bermudaonion said...

I thought this book was great too! I was impressed with how well the adults in the book handled things as well! This was my first time reading Wight's work, and I was very impressed!!

rhapsodyinbooks said...

I so wish I had had a book like this when I was little!

Laura at Library of Clean Reads said...

Both my kids love graphic novels. Thanks so much for introducing us to this new author and series. I will have to look into these books more seriously. Even the plot sounds ideal for my kids. My son would have loved to meet the author because he loves to draw and observe the illustrations in books.

Laura at Library of Clean Reads said...

By the way, I just noticed Linky #3 should not be there. It has the link to my last week's Kid Konnection post. I must have pressed return by error before typing in this week's URL. Sorry about that. You are welcome to remove it. Thanks!

Jill Buck said...

We have the first two books. My kids have met Eric at school and then at two different library events. Are you in the Lehigh Valley too? I thought about going to the Moravian Bookstore when he was doing a signing but we didn't make it over there.